Curatorial Projects > Califas (2013)

Joan Osato
Califas: Holy Trinity Cathedral (Johann Morse), 2013
Digital C-print

As part of Califas, Joan Osato has been documenting communities up and down the state, using portraiture, photography, and videography as storytelling devices. Starting in May of 2010 through September 2013, spanning over 10 different trips by truck and motorcycle, covering over 12,000 miles, crisscrossing California from the U.S./Mexico border at Calexico, she documented not only the environs from Mexicali to the Salton Sea, but the land, water, geology, archeological past, towns, and people that may forever change our perception of California. The portraiture seeks to make visible persons, places, history, and lives "unseen" and firmly place them on the map.

“As a collaborator and designer of community engagement projects that hold art and social justice at the center, my work endeavors to break open new modes of narrative, employing emerging aesthetics and techniques that push the possibilities of storytelling and theater. My aesthetic remains true to guiding principles of documenting the “underground” or “marginalized” persons and movements in modern society. In my search for revealing imagery or projects, I hope to illustrate a dedicated compassion and intensity using photography, film, and theater as a medium.” – Joan Osato

Holy Trinity Cathedral, located at 1520 Green Street in the Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco, is the episcopal seat of the Bishop of San Francisco and the West. It is part of the Diocese of the West of the Orthodox Church in America. Established in 1857, it is the oldest Orthodox parish in the contiguous U.S. The present temple was built in 1909 to replace an earlier church destroyed by the 1906 earthquake and fire. Today, as at the very beginning of its history, Holy Trinity Cathedral is a multinational, or, more accurately, an American Orthodox community, the only Orthodox church in San Francisco where the services are conducted in English (with some Slavonic). The church’s community is open to all and any Orthodox Christians. The majority of the church’s parishioners today are "converts" – Christians who have been consciously searching for the true faith and have found it in the Holy Orthodox Church. Osato wishes to thank members of the Congregation of Holy Trinity Cathedral and Father John Takahashi.


October 2 – December 21, 2013
Intersection for the Arts
San Francisco, CA